Saturday, January 31, 2009

45o (113 Fahrenheit) too hot to stitch !!!!

We have been having a record breaking heat wave reaching 45 degrees (113 degrees Fahrenheit) in Melbourne yesterday and I am really over it!!!! Summer is not my favourite season and I just can't wait for autumn to arrive - one month to go. Our air conditioner can't cope with these temperatures so the house is really not cooling down a lot plus the overnight temperatures have still been so high. I really do get frustrated when I can't stitch. Today won't be much better at 40 degrees.

Only made a little progress on my Derwentwater Design - one of a pair which I got during my visit to England. I am enjoying working the design which is by Rose Swalwell, based on the designs of Margaret Macdonald and Charles Rennie Mackintosh. (Not very good photos but it is too bright and hot to take them outside).

I have sent off my Round 11 Fair and Square Swap to U.S.A. this week so am pleased to be a little ahead given the fact that not much stitching happened this week.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Goodhart Sampler Book Arrived

am so pleased to have received The Goodhart Sampler Book - a Christmas present from my husband the other week and have really enjoyed spending time going through it. . The photography is wonderful and Needleprint deserve a medal for the great job.

I was lucky enough to see part of the sampler collection during my recent visit to U.K. and would certainly recommend a visit to Montecute House to everyone.

These photos were taken as we waited to go inside. The details about the house we had showed the opening time as 10am but when we arrived the house didn't open until 11am. I am so glad we waited the hour as it was well worth it to view the samplers on show (only a third of the collection is shown at any given time). The volunteer gave us plastic magnify sheets to hold up to the samplers when she saw Sue and I were so interested. I still think we may have left nose prints on some of the glass!

I didn't not know of Montecute House before I started planning the trip to U.K. It came up as I was to visit Stoke-sub-Hamdom, five minutes away, where my great grandmother was born.

Not a lot of stitching over the last couple of days as it has been so hot. Today we had a funeral of a friend. Tom was born in Scotland and spoke of leaving the cold winters behind. The day he was married in Alice Spring it was over 110 degrees and today as we came out of the chapel after the service it was 107 degrees. Tom was a talented musician, poet and painter. Two months ago the doctors told him he only had 2 years to live due to lung problems however this was not to be. His family will certainly miss him along with his friends. Tom loved nothing better than entertaining everyone if not singing then reading his poems. A very sad day.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Reflecting back over 2008

The one thing I did not do during 2008 was to use this blog as I had intended. I have always enjoyed reading a lot of other blogs and been inspired by other peoples stitching but I am afraid I just did not get around to writing and taking photos of my stitching as I thought I would. This is one thing I am aiming to change in 2009.

To me I had to look back over 2008 and write a little about it before moving on to 2009.

Of course 2008 had lots of highs and low for many people but I feel the highs certainly outnumbered the lows. For me the highlight was having a big 'O' birthday then two days later leaving my husband at home with our two Burmese cats, Mia and Chloe, while I took off half way around the world to spend 3 weeks with my friend in England. Sue has lived there for 18 years and had a number of trips back 'home' and it has always felt like she still lives here as we talk non stop, usually about stitch related topics. The trip to England was all that I could have hoped for and I did feel it was a like a magic carpet ride. Some of the highlights were -
  1. spending a day at the Fashion and Embroidery Show at Harrogate
  2. seeing the amazing embroidery at Hardwick Hall (home of Bess of Hardwick)
  3. two days at the Knitting and Stitchers Show, Alexandra Palace, London
  4. seeing the Beatrix Potter Quaker Sampler at Hill Top in real life (I am now stitching this in the SAL)
  5. visiting the Ruskin Lace Exhibition at Ruskin Museum, Corniston,Cumbria
  6. visiting the Quilt museum and gallery at York
  7. visiting Witney Antiques - Quaker samplers exhibition and all the other wonderful samplers
  8. seeing the Quaker Tapestry Exhibition at Kendal - 77 amazing panels showing the history of the Quaker movement
  9. visiting Gawthorpe Hall - great embroidery collection
  10. visiting Montecute House and viewing the Goodhart Sampler collection - only about a third of it is one view at one time but what was on show was superb
  11. finding the headstone of my great grandparents at Bridport Cemetery. Last time when I was there, 20 years ago, we could not find them
  12. seeing the village of Beaminster, Dorset, where a cousin was born in 1822. I have a photo of a sampler she worked when she was 12 years old and I am stitching a reproduction of it.
  13. plus visiting every exhibition, embroidery shop and bead shop we could find along the way.
It was during this trip while I was having a wonderful that our finances fell in a big hole, along with everyones investments. Lucky I had already purchased a few items that I just could not live without!!

My reading was somewhat slower this year than I had thought it would be but I hope to make up for that in 2009.

Stitching wise - I did not manage to stitch a Christmas ornament each month and take photos of them though I think I would have managed about 8 but not all of them were photographed.

Some of the WIP are still just that so can only hope I can change their situation within the next 12 months.

One stitching project that did give me great satisfaction was one that was featured in the November issue of Australian Country Craft. It was a needleroll that I had designed when teaching embroidery the previous year. I was very happy with the photography. The editor has asked for more projects so I need to put some time into making sure this happens.

The other stitiching project that has taken up a lot of time is a 50th Anniversary Sampler for our branch of the Embroiderers Guild. I was asked to join with 4 others to design and work the sampler but we have all agreed that we never thought it would be so time consuming now it is almost finished. Looking back it has been a very interesting exercise and has not ended up as we had first thought. At this stage I am not able to make it public until the official launch later this year.